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Maine approves Christian ballot initiative to strip gay rights from Human Rights Act

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Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said this week that a Christian activist could move forward with plans for a ballot initiative to strip LGBT protections from the state’s anti-discrimination law.

The Bangor Daily News reported that the state had approved language in a petition to remove “sexual orientation” from Maine’s Human Rights Act. The request was originally filed last summer by Michael Heath, former head of the Christian Civic League of Maine.

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Dunlap said that Heath could pick up the paperwork and begin collecting signatures to force a statewide referendum. Signatures are needed from 61,123 verified registered voters to place the question on the ballot.

The Human Rights Act has protected Maine residents from discrimination based on “sexual orientation” since 2005.

EqualityMaine executive director Matt Moonen told the Daily News that LGBT people deserved the same protections as everyone else.

“The current law has been working for more than a decade,” Moonen explained. “This initiative is a blatant effort to turn back the clock and single out lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people so that it’s once again legal to fire them, deny them housing or kick them out of a restaurant simply because of who they are.”

In recent weeks, both North Carolina and Mississippi have come under fire for restricting the rights of LGBT people at the state level.

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Chief Justice John Roberts admonishes Adam Schiff for speech seeking John Bolton’s testimony

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Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court John Roberts made his first major intervention in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday morning.

After House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) finished his closing arguments on why former National Security Advisor John Bolton should testify, Roberts admonished House impeachment managers on their language.

Claiming the Senate is the "world's greatest deliberative body" -- despite what he had witnessed during 12 hours of the impeachment trial -- Roberts complained about language that was "not conducive to civil discourse."

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White House lawyers begin yelling at Democrats during late-night debate — after Trump starts tweeting

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President Donald Trump woke up and began tweeting around midnight EST during the Senate impeachment trial over the amendments over the rules. That's when a noticeable thing changed on the Senate floor: Trump's team started yelling.

Nearing 1 a.m. EST Tuesday morning while the president was tweeting about impeachment, his team began attacking Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) personally. They called him a liar and accused him of attacking the president and demanded an apology. After nearly 12 hours this was the first time the White House got even remotely animated after a dull defense of the president.

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Mick Mulvaney released treasure trove of OMB documents — 2 minutes before midnight

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Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney released a huge cache of documents on Tuesday evening -- minutes before the midnight deadline.

The documents were released to the ethics group American oversight, which had pursued a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the department.

"Two minutes before midnight, OMB released 192 pages of Ukraine-related records to American Oversight, including emails that have not been previously released," American Oversight announced.

"The files released tonight include emails sent by OMB Acting Director Russell Vought and Assoc Director for National Security Michael Duffey — two key players in the withholding of Ukraine aid — in on the morning of President Trump’s July 25 call with President Zelensky," the ethics group noted.

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